Wash the cherries under cold running water and drain well.
Using a cherry pitter or tool of choice, carefully pit the cherries, making sure not to split or squash the fruit.*
In a large saucepan, spread a layer of cherries, then sprinkle a layer of sugar. Repeat until both ingredients have been fully added to the pan.
Cover and refrigerate overnight (at least 8 hours and up to 12).
Remove the saucepan from the fridge, add the water, and place on the stove over medium heat.
Let come to a boil and add in the lemon juice. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer the cherries until the syrup is thick and coats the back of a spoon, about 30 to 35 minutes. Skim any foam throughout the cooking process and discard. Remove from heat and let cool.
Place cherry mixture into a clean and sterilized quart-sized jar. Keep refrigerated.*